Archive for the ‘Destination B Music’ Category

So back to my roots again, after vearing off in a different direction with my previous track (H19) I produced a Drum n Bass track again.

Once I had completed the sound design and general structure of the song, I had a real battle with mixing this track. I wanted the drums to sound clear, and the snare to be prominent in the mix, sharing its space with the distorted lead sound. To achieve this I really had to concentrate on the drum elements, applying EQ, amplitude envelopes, transient shapers and compression to both the Kick and Snare’s, followed by a Drum Bus containing further EQ, reverb & compression. I am still loving Cytomics ‘The Glue’ compressor for the majority of my buss compression duties,  this thing is so nice, has a good SSL vibe, glues thing’s together nicely and gives the sound a bit of gloss/sheen.

Brainworx BX-Limiter

Brainworx BX-Limiter

A new plugin I used on a lot of my tracks to shave off some pesky peaks is the Brainworx BX_limiter. I find this to be transparent if used in this way, and not too hungry on the CPU.

On a similar theme, I also found ‘KClip’ by Kazrog to be a real good clipper on the master buss, to bring the levels up a bit, prior to limiting. Yet again, like the BX_Limiter I find this tool to be transparent when used lightly, but you need to have it set to 16x oversampling which takes a bit of CPU resources up. It would be nice if this plugin had some form of meters on it, but hey, I suppose it forces me to use my ears!!

Anyway, enough of my babbling, onto the tune!!

My first tune to incorporate my modular synth!! And yes, it is House, not Drum & Bass. I fancied a bit of a change, and to be honest, the modular does lend itself to House & Techno styles, and I just found it great fun to do!!

For the synth heads out there (if not your thing, skip this bit), the modular sound (the bouncy sound at the beginning of the tune) is produced using 2 No. Tiptop Z3000’s Oscillators going through a Tiptop Z2040 Low Pass filter, which is heavily modulated via some LFO’s, synched via a 4MS QCD and Audio Damage Sequencer 1. This is then further processed within the DAW with a delay, another filter (cutoff tempo synched), a bit of distortion, compression, EQ & finally some soft clipping. The sound is duplicated onto another track, with different processing to provide the mid and low frequencies. This was a real pain to get right, as I wanted some depth a points, but also I did not want the sound to get too muddy.

Anyway, onto other aspects of the production!!

This track totally veered off from my original vision. I wanted the result to be much harder, but I played around with some chords, that ended up becoming the main arpeggiated lead, that I could not resist to use. This resulted in a much more laid back and chilled track. With this basis, I then used the same root note and chords for the violins.

I have used “Cytomic – The Glue” a fair bit on this tune, which has to be honest become my “go to” compressor. I just love the SSL sound, and I have got used to the way it works on the transients, and like how the attack & decay work. I have used “The Glue” on quite of few individual channels, from Violins to tame down some of the high frequencies, to the arpeggiated chords. I love this compressor on the 2-bus it’s just got this lovely “sheen” to it.

The mix down was a long drawn out process, but to be honest, there was some learning on the way that slowed things down, I’m sure a pro could have mixed this in a 10th of the time I have. I used a few new tools this time, mainly “KRK KNS-8400” Headphones that helped me shape the bottom end and Kick (Even with extensive treatment, I cannot trust my room 100%), and they also are a good second reference. I also used the Elysia Museq EQ. Wow, is all I can say about this plugin. It is so transparent, and you can really push some gain without it sounding harsh. I would not use it for clinical chopping, it’s not for that, but to just bring them violins out a bit, and to do wonders on the Master Buss it’s great.

Another new first, was using soft clipping techniques, to clip the transients on the snare and on the Master Buss (amongst others). This allowed me to bring the overall volume of the track up in a more transparent way, than say a compressor, prior to some final limiting.

Samplemagic AB was another great plug-in I have started to rely on, so that I can easily compare my track to commercial releases. I’m still working on getting them to sound as good as the commercial releases though ;-p

Anyway, now this tune is finished I can go back to my modular for further inspiration. Mmmm damn, that means more nights lost in the deep deep hole of the modular world 🙂

This project seemed to be never ending, but finally I have published my latest tune “Born amongst the Darkness”.

It is not for the light hearted, with fast heavy beats and distorted twisted neurofunk lines. It took some time to process the twisted sounds, but I think it was worth it.

One day I may post up the samples I used to make the evil sounding voices, as the original samples sound totally different.

So, its all been a bit quiet here lately on my blog. This has been due to a couple of things, mainly changing jobs and also the photography course I have been doing for the last 6 months (still got more ahead of me).

I have though put my new photography & photoshop skills to good use and made a Destination B image for my music.

My latest tune is basically finished, so just need to get around to sorting out the final mix. So I hope the wait has been worth it, in the meantime here is my Destination B image. Do you like it?? If so leave a comment 🙂

Destination_B_Evil-Gas-Mask_BioHazard

At last, after a nice break in Dusseldorf I am back in the UK & back on track for my next tune.

The track is heading down the Neurofunk/Darkstep sub-genre of Drum & Bass, and is definatley going to be on the darker side of things. I am currently developing some patches in the Native Instruments Massive Synth and collecting some samples, both vocal snippets & dark textures.

As mentioned, Native Instruments Massive is going to provide the basis of the twisted sounds, that will be then bounced down into Audio and further processed. But, as I also love the analog sound, I may try to include into the tune some sounds from either my Moog Slim Phatty or the amazing soft synth U-he Diva.

Talking about the Diva synth, I downloaded this a couple of weeks ago & I have got to say that it eats up your CPU, but it is worth it for the sound. This is the first soft synth that I have heard that sounds like real analog to me. I have put similar settings into my Moog as the Diva, and it is hard to tell the difference, as Diva does sound very analog. U-he does seem to have got the algorythms right on Diva, you really get the analog drifting effect. After I have spent plenty of time with Diva I will write a thorough review on it. The full review may be some time yet though, as I will only review something once I have used it for a good length of time, which means in the future there will also be reviews on Focal Solo Studio Monitors (I’m loving them), Cytomic The Glue Compressor and my Moog Slim Phatty.

 

Since my last tune Frozen, I have had a creative block, so instead of making music, I have been spending my time messing around setting up my new pair of speakers.

After listening to some tunes in the car, I decided perhaps I should play around with some Dubstep for a change, so started making some beats. But things were still not flowing, so I changed tactic, back to Sound Design.

Over the last week I have been trying out different ideas on sound design ranging from Trance Chords to Screaming Dubstep leads, in fact describing the patch as “screaming” does not do it justice, it is better described as downright filthy!!

I was thinking, this time it will be different, I fancy a change, lets do some Dubstep, but semi chilled (for me that is) with some Trance, but it seems that this lead patch may be taking control and leading me down the dirty path again (I just cant stop myself).

So what music food shall I serve you up, a Happy Meal or Mc Filthy??? Or are you greedy and want a serving of both??

 

 

So here it is, my first track featuring my new Moog Slim Phatty hardware synthesizer.

The Slim Phatty is well suited to Electro, so I thought “lets mix the electro sound with Dnb!!!!!”. As you can hear the bass sounds pretty dirty, which was made possible by using the Overload control on the Slim Phatty, sweet!

I must admit when I first bought the Moog Slim Phatty I was a bit worried about it sounding a bit dated, as most examples of the Moog are with bearded guys playing prog rock. Obviously there was no need to be worried, with the overload it sounds awesome and to be honest, it is how you play it that makes it sound old or cutting edge.

I hope you enjoy the track!!

So at last here it is:

 

It’s taken longer than I expected to do the mixdown on this one, mainly due to the fact that the distorted bassline in the second section of the track ended up becoming quite complex in the lower end. I sorted this out with a high pass filter to take the offending lower frequencies out and replaced it with another synth line. I am much happier with the outcome, so it was worth it 🙂

The Kosmos is near

Posted: August 27, 2011 in Destination B Music

So the track is nearly completed and will be uploaded in the next few days.

Hopefully you will think it was worth the wait 🙂

Over the weekend I finished another track, called “Kosmos”, or so I thought!!

I must admit, I was very happy with myself that I had achieved a very good mix so quickly. So I headed down the pub on Saturday night, armed with my ipod to test it out on friends. I was very surprised to find that it went down really well, especially because the friends I tried it out on are not hardcore Drum n Bass fans. I was a bit worried that they would find the distorted bassline towards the end of the track  too much for them, but this did not seem to be the case.

At this point I was still well happy, it sounded great on the ipod, studio monitors and hi-fi, but then I had a listen in the car. Ahhhh, my worst nightmare, it sounded crap. The bass kick was punching that hard, it was going to put a hole in the car doors and the distorted highs on the bassline (yep a weird mid-bass with gnarly highs) had fallen into the background of the mix. Oh no, back to the drawing board.

On Sunday, I worked on the mix, splitting the Bass track into two parts, applying a bit of EQ and changing the compression settings. I made plenty of mixes and got it sounding much better in the car, but I soon started to realise that I was not happy with one of the basslines ,so I decided to watch a bit of TV and then sleep on it.

The next morning I listened to the track again with a fresh set of ears, and yep I’m still sure that there is an issue with the second bassline. I am though really liking the track, it is designed to become gradually more and more aggressive and distorted, really pushing the boundaries. But it is this nature of the track, that makes it a very tiring process to mix, as your brain can only take so much distortion played back over several hours. That’s why I will have at least a day off, before I go back to the mix again. This will allow me to listen to it with a fresh perspective.

Oh yeah and I forgot to say, I found a fantastic vocal sample that I have used in the track. I am really looking forward to sending my final mix to the guy who originally sampled his voice. His voice does not now sound anything like the original sample, so it will be interesting to see his response, lol.

I also added a new rising, rushing sound towards the end of the break section of the track to provide a build up of anticipation to the coming change.  I knew what sound I was after and thought that I had heard similar sound presets before.  After searching through the preset lists of some of my software synthesizers, I decided it would be much quicker to make the sound myself. To create the sound I used one of my bread and butter synths, Native Instruments Massive. To be honest, I should have done this from the start, as it did not take me long to make the sound, certainly a lot less time than  it took me to search through presets anyway.

So this it what happens when you are smug with yourself too quickly, lol, I was hoping to have uploaded the finished track to soundcloud over the weekend, but now it looks as though it will be a couple of more weeks away. It’s all fun though, part of the journey 🙂